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  1. Root 60* and Taylor 24* at close
  2. Morkel removes Compton for 49
  3. Steyn has scan on shoulder injury
  4. Broad 4-25 & Moeen 4-69 in SA's 214
  5. Opener Elgar carries his bat with 118*

Live Reporting

By Stephan Shemilt

All times stated are UK

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England look miles better than South Africa, according to Geoffrey.

They are certainly miles ahead. Either tomorrow or Wednesday they will probably take a 1-0 lead in this series. Join us then. Bye for now.

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

Dale Steyn
Getty Images

"England did well but South Africa, number one side in the world? Are you kidding? Whatever problems we have in our team we still look miles better than them."

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"I don't think South Africa could have had a worse day. The batting was horrible, three catches went down, Steyn got injured and they have as much chance of winning this as I have of going to the moon. There's only half a chance that they can save this because their batsmen are so low in confidence."

England all-rounder Moeen Ali on Sky Sports: "Today was all about being patient and thankfully it went well.

"I've worked a lot harder since I've been here on my bowling. It's paying off, but there's still a long way to go.

"Maybe dropping down the order has helped. I know my role in the side quite well. I have to hold an end up or, if it's spinning, take some wickets.

"I've had to change my action quit a few times. Even when I've bowled well, I've had to change. It's not easy against quality players."

Joe Root and James Taylor
Getty Images

But Compton, Root and Taylor set up the assault that will surely come tomorrow. England will look to bash out a score, then unleash an attack on a pitch that is showing both uneven bounce and sharp turn.  

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"The one thing for England was disappointment with Hales. He looked to have taken heed how Compon played in the first innings. He did exactly that for 26 runs but then holed out at long-on looking to smash the ball out of the ground.

"Do not give it away when you get in. You have to get 70, 80, 100. I hope he learns from that."

The slight negatives for England? Alastair Cook failed to get a score for the second time in the match and, after a good start, Alex Hales threw his wicket away. 

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"What happened with Steyn was very odd. They can't do anything right, they dropped three catches off Morne Morkel, if you get your catches you might get somebody else out.  I'm sorry, I don't think they've got a cat in hell's chance."

For South Africa to get back into the game, they either needed something special with the ball, or some England stupidity with the bat. Neither came, and looked even less likely when Dale Steyn went off with a shoulder injury. He returned for three balls, then disappeared for a scan. We await the results. 

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"India have done England a wonderful service.  Psychologically they've done South Africa in the head.  When they're batting they're suspicious and unsure."

Ah yes, where would South Africa have been without Dean Elgar? The left-hander became the first South African to carry his bat since 1997 and only the second since readmission in 1991. His 118 not out got the home side to 214.

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"You'd think England were bowling hand grenades, and that's not the case. If you graft and work and stay in, you can make runs and the only guy who did that was Elgar."

It's pretty much all gone England's way since the second ball of the day, when Stuart Broad got one to stay low for Temba Bavuma to chop on. That was the start of six wickets for 77 runs, with Moeen Ali spinning three and Steven Finn taking two with the second new ball.

Jonathan Agnew

BBC Test Match Special

"It's a pretty weary, rather dispirited South Africa team coming off. Hashim Amla's keeping a low profile, he's a very quiet, undemonstrative fellow.  South Africa may have needed more than that on a day like today."

Close-of-play scorecard

England lead by 261

England second innings: 172-3 (64 overs)

Not out batsmen: Root 60, Taylor 24

Fall of wickets: 13-1 (Cook 7), 48-2 (Hales 26), 119-3 (Compton 49)

Bowling figures: Steyn 3.5-0-10-0, Morkel 13.3-4-19-1, Abbott 13.4-2-36-0, Piedt 18-3-65-2, Elgar 7-0-19-0, Van Zyl 7-2-12-0, Duminy 1-0-5-0

South Africa first innings: 214 (Elgar 118 not out)

Bowling figures: Broad 15-6-25-4, Woakes 14-1-28-0, Moeen 25-3-69-4, Finn 15.4-1-49-2, Stokes 9-1-25-0, Root 3-1-11-0.

England first innings: 303 (Compton 85, Taylor 70, Steyn 4-70, Morkel 4-76)

Full scorecard

Close of play

Eng 172-3

That's it for the day, England ending day three with their hands fully around the stem of the protea. 172-3 in their second innings, a lead of 261. Even with a collpase into a heap tomorrow morning, they would be well-placed to win this match.

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"Amla's too quiet.  You don't want someone shouting in your ear every ball, but you do want your captain to talk to you."

Eng 167-3 (Root 59, Taylor 20)

Maybe only two overs to go now, with Dean Elgar back to deliver the first of them. Root pulls a single, with Taylor, wearing a large helmet borrowed from his dad, then continuing to nudge his way towards the close.

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Nathan Wake: If Root gets to 168 this innings he'll break Michael Vaughan's record for England of 1481 runs in a calendar year. Form.

Michael Vaughan

Eng 164-3 (lead by 253)

It's darker than a power cut in Durban now, but still we plow on to the 15:30 cut off. Not than anyone is worrying about Stiaan van Zyl's military medium. It's fair to say that the cricket has ben action-free for about an hour now.

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Jack Allum: I can't see England declaring before tea tomorrow. Cook is a defensive captain- he will want to guarantee they won't lose.

JoElle: Declaring at anything over 350 would, quite frankly, be timid

Eng 161-3 (Root 55, Taylor 18)

Chris Woakes has his whites on at the back of the England dressing room. Does that mean he's padded up and ready to go as nightwatchman? Whatever Kyle Abbott urges towards James Taylor, Taylor simply dead-bats away. We're into the last 10 minutes.

James Taylor

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Tom Capes: Use the DRS to up over-rates. If the bowling side are behind the rate suspend their reviews but let the batsmen review EVERYTHING!

Eng 159-3 (lead by 248)

It's been pointed out to me that Nagini wasn't in the Chamber of Secrets. Nagini was Voldemort's mate wasn't he? The basilisk was in the Chamber of Secrets? I think we've cleared that up. Away from Harry Potter, we crawl towards the close. Stiaan van Zyl trundles in, James Taylor pushes him back. What comes first? 15:30? The light?

Andrew Samson

BBC Test Match Special statistician

Joe Root and Alastair Cook

"Root now has 1,367 runs for England in Test cricket this calendar year. He's gone past Alastair Cook who was the leading scorer with 1,364."

50 for Joe Root

Eng 158-3

Joe Root and James Taylor
Getty Images

If you were to look up 'run machine' in the dictionary the chances are you would see a picture of Joe Root. His stellar 2015 continues with yet another half-century, reached with a clip off the hips for a single off Abbott. A 13th fifty-plus score in the calendar year equals the record set by Virender Sehwag in 2010. 

Graeme Swann

Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

"If AB de Villiers doesn't bat in the second innings like the AB de Villiers of the last two years, it's a no-brainer, don't keep wicket. It's like playing Alan Shearer at sweeper."

Eng 152-3 (lead by 241)

Still Stiaan van Zyl, with the light unable to make up its mind whether it's fading or not. Van Zyl is wobbling the ball just a touch, getting some bounce back into the waist of James Taylor. That would have got Alex Hales on the knee.

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JAC Wood: Um time is on our side, use it. It's a Test match why take risk? England's to lose - don't collapse.

Eng 151-3 (Root 48, Taylor 15)

Fans with a beer snake
Getty Images

The Barmy Army have been busy. Or they've been thirsty. A giant beer snake, about 10m long, is paraded around the boundary edge. It's as if they've hauled Nagini from the Chamber of Secrets and are now showing him off as a trophy. On the pitch, Joe Root closes in on a half-century and James Taylor works through mid-wicket for four.

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"The administrators do nothing about slow over rates.  It's a terrible blight on the game.  You can see why people go to Twenty20 and 50 overs, it's the speed of it."

Eng 142-3 (Root 45, Taylor 10)

More trundlers from Stiaan van Zyl, South Africa looking to tick down the 12 overs that are scheduled before the close of play at 15:30. It's unlikely we'll get those in even if we play for the full 30 minutes. Military medium, up and down, little action. On the plus side, the sky has brightened a little. 

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AB De Villiers

YU HIMM FUNG: Is De Villiers trying to tell the management something about keeping wicket with those catches he has dropped?

Eng 141-3 (lead by 230)

Morkel is withdrawn, replaced by Kyle Abbott as the dimmer switch is turned down yet further. Joe Root doesn't seem to be having any trouble seeing the ball, punching a back-foot drive straight to cover. We almost seem to be engaged in a phoney war. England want to make the close without further loses, South Africa just want to get off the park. Battle will resume in the morning. If they had the desire, England could really pull away now.  

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Jack Simpson: Good batting by the England guys. Smash them tomorrow morning and give South Africa a day and half to get out.

Mickey Wallis: ‏These two will score quickly. If they're both here at the end of the day we should be able to rule a loss out.

Eng 139-3 (Root 43, Taylor 7)

James Taylor is skipping towards the off-breaks of Piedt, getting himself into all sorts of tangled positions. There's still sharp turn in the gathering gloom, while the noise levels from the crowd seem just to have cranked a notch or two. 

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"England will be sitting pretty and then tomorrow morning can do what they want.  If they bat until lunch they'll still have five sessions."

Eng 134-3 (lead by 223)

It really is noticeable how quickly the light is drawing in. I think we'll make it past 15:00, but I wonder how much further we'll go. England will be looking for no further losses, setting up an assault in the morning. In the dressing room, Jos Buttler sits without a shirt on, a proper Brit abroad. Morkel gets too leggy and is clipped fine for four by Root.